“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Faith is a Journey … Not a Destination
by Randall D. Kittle
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Many years ago our family went on a vacation to South Dakota. We enjoyed seeing the desolate beauty of the Badlands. In Custer State Park the power of the bull buffalos uncomfortably awed my daughters as they stopped the traffic to protect the herd from the “intruding cars.” And, of course, to see the faces of the four presidents carved into Mount Rushmore was quite amazing. Yet, perhaps the most memorable part of the trip for me was our visit to Wind Cave. This enormous cave had been used as a hideout in the days of the “wild west.” Though the cave has been known of for years, and has had ongoing exploration, vast areas of the cave, both in size and depth, still remain to be discovered.

This reminds me of the relationship many in the Church have with the Lord. For a long time He has been little more than a hide out — a refuge. And so God is, for He is our shelter, our defense, and our strong tower; but He is also so much more. God wants us to explore the depths of His character, His nature, His love — His very self. So that we
“may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18).

The Christian life is not just a place of refuge like the old “Hole in the Wall” of western fame, nor is it simply a means to get to heaven. It is a journey — not merely a journey to some
place, but a journey with some One. Just as I would rather visit an apple orchard with my wife than visit Paris with the woman down the street, it is not the where but the who that is important. It is not the exciting places we pass through along the way nor even the final destination that is most important, it is that we are on a journey with the Lord.

When you accepted the finished work of the Cross and became a born-again believer, your relationship with God was reconciled and you set off upon an exciting and unfolding journey of friendship with God. Though this walk of friendship with the living God is a glorious calling, it is not always easy. Satan, the enemy of your soul, won’t leave it alone. He will use any means he can to keep you from entering into the deep relationship with the Lord that Jesus died to bring you into.

That is what happened with the rich young ruler in Luke 18. Jesus told him,
“Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22). I don’t believe Jesus’ emphasis was upon “sell your stuff,” it was “Come away with Me and be one of My special ones!” Jesus was offering this young man the invitation of a lifetime — an invitation to close friendship with the Lord.

The Bible tells us that with a disappointed look clinging to his face, the rich young ruler walked away from his invitation to friendship. What happened? Just as he was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime he was reminded of some of the pleasures of the world — his riches — and they got in the way. For all eternity that man will regret the day he allowed his fiery excitement for Jesus to be cooled off by his cares for the things of this world.

How about you and I? Are we letting anything get in the way of walking on our journey with Jesus? Are the pleasures of this world, the pressures of business, or anything else causing your relationship with God to become superficial and shallow? Let me encourage you to examine your life and make certain that nothing gets in the way of the one thing you were created for — relationship with God.

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